A 27-year-old woman in Lira district, northern Uganda has been jailed for seven years after confessing to intentionally infecting her 5-year-old stepson with HIV.
Collin Odyek was arrested last year after she willing-fully and intentionally, knowing that she is HIV positive, used a syringe to draw her blood and injected the minor through his veins while at their home in Ober Kampala, Lira City West Division.
She told the Chief Magistrate's court in Lira that she injected the boy to revenge for the way his father Aaron Bua was mistreating her. Odyek was appearing before Samson Lumum Abiti, the chief magistrate who sentenced her to seven years in prison. Abiti argued that despite being the first offender and appearing remorseful, she committed an inhumane act that deserves a deterrent sentence.
“I note that the convict was very remorseful, she pleaded guilty and did not waste this court’s time but she also said that she injected the boy with her HIV blood so that she retaliates for the mistreatment of his father but this one cannot help the situation because one wrong cannot cure the other one,” said the magistrate.
The convict had earlier appeared before the same court and was charged with intentional transmission of HIV contrary to section 43 (1) of the HIV and AIDs Prevention and Control Act. Hillary Okello, the HIV focal point person at Lira city explains that it takes only 24 hours for the HIV virus to enter the body when the contaminated blood is administered through a cut or injection into the body.
"When it is through a direct injection, the exposure is even more because that one copies of virus is much more, it will attack very many cells and eventually the destruction and the multiplication of this virus in the blood is even much more than the natural way through sexual transmission with an infected person," said Okello.
In 2014, Rosemary Namubiru, an HIV-positive nurse was also convicted after being found guilty of pricking a baby with a syringe contaminated with HIV-positive blood in the course of treatment. Namubiru drew her HIV-positive blood and used the same cannula to prick a toddler that she was treating at Victoria Medical Centre.